Forklift training history

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Train A Lift. The first commercial training company

reach truck stacking

The course went well and we were surprised that we had to include something we had overlooked. As these people would be training people for employers who expected to claim grant for that training, we had to explain the 1964 Industrial Training Act, the RTITB’s Statutory position and what instructors had to do to get approval for their training centres and the courses they offered.

The Training Manager had insisted that all trainees on both Instructor and Operator courses would undergo a keystone telebinocular eyesight test, (Ike and I had both been trained to use the equipment), and undertake a speed of reaction and a depth perception test. Then we had to explain why they had to undertake a trainability assessment. All in all it was lunchtime before we got started for real on the instructor course.

There were 5 manufacturer’s demonstrators on the course and they did not like having to use the training method of load handling, But, as we pointed out, they had no option really. It was a couple of them who actually named it “Handbrake Snatching” Outside of that the course went well, except we had to send one candidate home on the Wednesday on completion of the operator training part of the course. He had very little truck operating experience and just failed to make  sufficient progress. He accepted that he was not cut out to be a good operator or an instructor.

Everyone else passed the theory test and received an assessment from Ike or I that they were competent to become instructors. Some were given advice on making improvements in certain areas. But they all left the two week course in a happy frame of mind.

One of the Manufacturers demonstrators was from Coventry Climax named Jim Brown. He went back to work the following Monday and resigned and when he completed his service, he and his wife set up a company in Coventry, called Train-a-Lift and sought and obtained the RTITB’s approval as a commercial training organisation. The first totally independent training organisation. (Webmaster: I knew Jim and have been to Train a Lift many times but I didn't know that story before).

Most of the people kept in contact with us. Mostly seeking advice simply because we were the founders of an entirely new industry. Whilst we had been busy writing up courses etc. the RTITB had created and set up an Approval System which contained a register of those instructors who had been successful on the 10 day instructor course and commercial training organisations that were approved by them.

It was a tough system and involved independent examination of people completing the 10 day instructor course by examiners employed by the RTITB. Only those who passed this examination could become registered, approved instructors. This was aimed at ensuring that industry received value for money.

The examiners were obviously busy on Thursdays and Fridays examining newly trained instructors and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays they were employed as Monitors and sent to different parts of the country where they simply dropped in unannounced at Commercial training centers and reported on what they found. They usually called on 2 or 3 places each and caught people breaking the approval rules.

Some they worked with to bring about improvement and the real cheats had their approval withdrawn and were named and shamed. This new approval system worried those instructors who were going to offer grant worthy training but we were able to offer sufficient advice for them to be successful. We built up a real relationship with the commercial trainers, in spite of the obvious fact they were our competitors.

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